2023 Fall Trapping Summary

By January 2, 2024 Articles, Media

Our winter trapping effort at the RPQRR was completed recently. Over two weeks we trapped 710 individual birds, including our first ever “blob” (bobwhite x blue hybrid). Sixteen of the birds had wing tags from when they were caught as chicks; one of those was tagged as a chick in June, 2022. All birds received a leg band if they didn’t already have one, and radio collars were placed on 128 birds. The oldest bird trapped was a male bobwhite originally caught as an adult on 3/20/2019, meaning it hatched in 2018 or earlier! Juvenile (“hatch-year birds”) comprised 72% of the take, suggesting we had good, but not great, reproductive success this summer. While the number of birds trapped is far below the highs of 2015-17, it’s better than we’ve seen in a while. Back in 2020 we had a nice uptick in trapping, but the weather didn’t cooperate in 2021 and the population fell back. In 2014, we also had an increase, and the weather held into 2015, which led to the start of a boom. We are at the mercy of the weather, but so far it’s looking good for next year. – by Jon Purvis